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Best Famous On The Level Poems

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Written by Dylan Thomas | Create an image from this poem

I In My Intricate Image


I, in my intricate image, stride on two levels,
Forged in man's minerals, the brassy orator
Laying my ghost in metal,
The scales of this twin world tread on the double,
My half ghost in armour hold hard in death's corridor,
To my man-iron sidle.
Beginning with doom in the bulb, the spring unravels, Bright as her spinning-wheels, the colic season Worked on a world of petals; She threads off the sap and needles, blood and bubble Casts to the pine roots, raising man like a mountain Out of the naked entrail.
Beginning with doom in the ghost, and the springing marvels, Image of images, my metal phantom Forcing forth through the harebell, My man of leaves and the bronze root, mortal, unmortal, I, in my fusion of rose and male motion, Create this twin miracle.
This is the fortune of manhood: the natural peril, A steeplejack tower, bonerailed and masterless, No death more natural; Thus the shadowless man or ox, and the pictured devil, In seizure of silence commit the dead nuisance.
The natural parallel.
My images stalk the trees and the slant sap's tunnel, No tread more perilous, the green steps and spire Mount on man's footfall, I with the wooden insect in the tree of nettles, In the glass bed of grapes with snail and flower, Hearing the weather fall.
Intricate manhood of ending, the invalid rivals, Voyaging clockwise off the symboled harbour, Finding the water final, On the consumptives' terrace taking their two farewells, Sail on the level, the departing adventure, To the sea-blown arrival.
II They climb the country pinnacle, Twelve winds encounter by the white host at pasture, Corner the mounted meadows in the hill corral; They see the squirrel stumble, The haring snail go giddily round the flower, A quarrel of weathers and trees in the windy spiral.
As they dive, the dust settles, The cadaverous gravels, falls thick and steadily, The highroad of water where the seabear and mackerel Turn the long sea arterial Turning a petrol face blind to the enemy Turning the riderless dead by the channel wall.
(Death instrumental, Splitting the long eye open, and the spiral turnkey, Your corkscrew grave centred in navel and nipple, The neck of the nostril, Under the mask and the ether, they making bloody The tray of knives, the antiseptic funeral; Bring out the black patrol, Your monstrous officers and the decaying army, The sexton sentinel, garrisoned under thistles, A cock-on-a-dunghill Crowing to Lazarus the morning is vanity, Dust be your saviour under the conjured soil.
) As they drown, the chime travels, Sweetly the diver's bell in the steeple of spindrift Rings out the Dead Sea scale; And, clapped in water till the triton dangles, Strung by the flaxen whale-weed, from the hangman's raft, Hear they the salt glass breakers and the tongues of burial.
(Turn the sea-spindle lateral, The grooved land rotating, that the stylus of lightning Dazzle this face of voices on the moon-turned table, Let the wax disk babble Shames and the damp dishonours, the relic scraping.
These are your years' recorders.
The circular world stands still.
) III They suffer the undead water where the turtle nibbles, Come unto sea-stuck towers, at the fibre scaling, The flight of the carnal skull And the cell-stepped thimble; Suffer, my topsy-turvies, that a double angel Sprout from the stony lockers like a tree on Aran.
Be by your one ghost pierced, his pointed ferrule, Brass and the bodiless image, on a stick of folly Star-set at Jacob's angle, Smoke hill and hophead's valley, And the five-fathomed Hamlet on his father's coral Thrusting the tom-thumb vision up the iron mile.
Suffer the slash of vision by the fin-green stubble, Be by the ships' sea broken at the manstring anchored The stoved bones' voyage downward In the shipwreck of muscle; Give over, lovers, locking, and the seawax struggle, Love like a mist or fire through the bed of eels.
And in the pincers of the boiling circle, The sea and instrument, nicked in the locks of time, My great blood's iron single In the pouring town, I, in a wind on fire, from green Adam's cradle, No man more magical, clawed out the crocodile.
Man was the scales, the death birds on enamel, Tail, Nile, and snout, a saddler of the rushes, Time in the hourless houses Shaking the sea-hatched skull, And, as for oils and ointments on the flying grail, All-hollowed man wept for his white apparel.
Man was Cadaver's masker, the harnessing mantle, Windily master of man was the rotten fathom, My ghost in his metal neptune Forged in man's mineral.
This was the god of beginning in the intricate seawhirl, And my images roared and rose on heaven's hill.

Written by Alexander Pushkin | Create an image from this poem


 Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover;
Flying snow is set alight
By the moon whose form they cover;
Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
On and on our coach advances, Little bell goes din-din-din.
Round are vast, unknown expanses; Terror, terror is within.
-- Faster, coachman! "Can't, sir, sorry: Horses, sir, are nearly dead.
I am blinded, all is blurry, All snowed up; can't see ahead.
Sir, I tell you on the level: We have strayed, we've lost the trail.
What can WE do, when a devil Drives us, whirls us round the vale? "There, look, there he's playing, jolly! Huffing, puffing in my course; There, you see, into the gully Pushing the hysteric horse; Now in front of me his figure Looms up as a ***** mile-mark -- Coming closer, growing bigger, Sparking, melting in the dark.
" Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover; Flying snow is set alight By the moon whose form they cover; Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
We can't whirl so any longer! Suddenly, the bell has ceased, Horses halted.
-- Hey, what's wrong there? "Who can tell! -- a stump? a beast?.
" Blizzard's raging, blizzard's crying, Horses panting, seized by fear; Far away his shape is flying; Still in haze the eyeballs glare; Horses pull us back in motion, Little bell goes din-din-din.
I behold a strange commotion: Evil spirits gather in -- Sundry, ugly devils, whirling In the moonlight's milky haze: Swaying, flittering and swirling Like the leaves in autumn days.
What a crowd! Where are they carried? What's the plaintive song I hear? Is a goblin being buried, Or a sorceress married there? Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover; Flying snow is set alight By the moon whose form they cover; Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
Swarms of devils come to rally, Hurtle in the boundless height; Howling fills the whitening valley, Plaintive screeching rends my heart.
Translated by Genia Gurarie July 29, 1995.
Copyright retained by Genia Gurarie.
email: egurarie@princeton.
edu http://www.
edu/~egurarie/ For permission to reproduce, write personally to the translator.
Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley | Create an image from this poem

Written among the Euganean Hills North Italy

MANY a green isle needs must be 
In the deep wide sea of Misery, 
Or the mariner, worn and wan, 
Never thus could voyage on 
Day and night, and night and day, 5 
Drifting on his dreary way, 
With the solid darkness black 
Closing round his vessel's track; 
Whilst above, the sunless sky 
Big with clouds, hangs heavily, 10 
And behind the tempest fleet 
Hurries on with lightning feet, 
Riving sail, and cord, and plank, 
Till the ship has almost drank 
Death from the o'er-brimming deep, 15 
And sinks down, down, like that sleep 
When the dreamer seems to be 
Weltering through eternity; 
And the dim low line before 
Of a dark and distant shore 20 
Still recedes, as ever still 
Longing with divided will, 
But no power to seek or shun, 
He is ever drifted on 
O'er the unreposing wave, 25 
To the haven of the grave.
Ay, many flowering islands lie In the waters of wide Agony: To such a one this morn was led My bark, by soft winds piloted.
30 ¡ª'Mid the mountains Euganean I stood listening to the p?an With which the legion'd rooks did hail The Sun's uprise majestical: Gathering round with wings all hoar, 35 Through the dewy mist they soar Like gray shades, till the eastern heaven Bursts; and then¡ªas clouds of even Fleck'd with fire and azure, lie In the unfathomable sky¡ª 40 So their plumes of purple grain Starr'd with drops of golden rain Gleam above the sunlight woods, As in silent multitudes On the morning's fitful gale 45 Through the broken mist they sail; And the vapours cloven and gleaming Follow down the dark steep streaming, Till all is bright, and clear, and still Round the solitary hill.
50 Beneath is spread like a green sea The waveless plain of Lombardy, Bounded by the vaporous air, Islanded by cities fair; Underneath day's azure eyes, 55 Ocean's nursling, Venice lies,¡ª A peopled labyrinth of walls, Amphitrite's destined halls, Which her hoary sire now paves With his blue and beaming waves.
60 Lo! the sun upsprings behind, Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined On the level quivering line Of the waters crystalline; And before that chasm of light, 65 As within a furnace bright, Column, tower, and dome, and spire, Shine like obelisks of fire, Pointing with inconstant motion From the altar of dark ocean 70 To the sapphire-tinted skies; As the flames of sacrifice From the marble shrines did rise As to pierce the dome of gold Where Apollo spoke of old.
75 Sun-girt City! thou hast been Ocean's child, and then his queen; Now is come a darker day, And thou soon must be his prey, If the power that raised thee here 80 Hallow so thy watery bier.
A less drear ruin then than now, With thy conquest-branded brow Stooping to the slave of slaves From thy throne among the waves 85 Wilt thou be¡ªwhen the sea-mew Flies, as once before it flew, O'er thine isles depopulate, And all is in its ancient state, Save where many a palace-gate 90 With green sea-flowers overgrown, Like a rock of ocean's own, Topples o'er the abandon'd sea As the tides change sullenly.
The fisher on his watery way, 95 Wandering at the close of day, Will spread his sail and seize his oar Till he pass the gloomy shore, Lest thy dead should, from their sleep, Bursting o'er the starlight deep, 100 Lead a rapid masque of death O'er the waters of his path.
Noon descends around me now: 'Tis the noon of autumn's glow, When a soft and purple mist 105 Like a vaporous amethyst, Or an air-dissolv¨¨d star Mingling light and fragrance, far From the curved horizon's bound To the point of heaven's profound, 110 Fills the overflowing sky, And the plains that silent lie Underneath; the leaves unsodden Where the infant Frost has trodden With his morning-wing¨¨d feet 115 Whose bright print is gleaming yet; And the red and golden vines Piercing with their trellised lines The rough, dark-skirted wilderness; The dun and bladed grass no less, 120 Pointing from this hoary tower In the windless air; the flower Glimmering at my feet; the line Of the olive-sandall'd Apennine In the south dimly islanded; 125 And the Alps, whose snows are spread High between the clouds and sun; And of living things each one; And my spirit, which so long Darken'd this swift stream of song,¡ª 130 Interpenetrated lie By the glory of the sky; Be it love, light, harmony, Odour, or the soul of all Which from heaven like dew doth fall, 135 Or the mind which feeds this verse, Peopling the lone universe.
Noon descends, and after noon Autumn's evening meets me soon, Leading the infantine moon 140 And that one star, which to her Almost seems to minister Half the crimson light she brings From the sunset's radiant springs: And the soft dreams of the morn 145 (Which like wing¨¨d winds had borne To that silent isle, which lies 'Mid remember'd agonies, The frail bark of this lone being), Pass, to other sufferers fleeing, 150 And its ancient pilot, Pain, Sits beside the helm again.
Other flowering isles must be In the sea of Life and Agony: Other spirits float and flee 155 O'er that gulf: ev'n now, perhaps, On some rock the wild wave wraps, With folding wings they waiting sit For my bark, to pilot it To some calm and blooming cove, 160 Where for me, and those I love, May a windless bower be built, Far from passion, pain, and guilt, In a dell 'mid lawny hills Which the wild sea-murmur fills, 165 And soft sunshine, and the sound Of old forests echoing round, And the light and smell divine Of all flowers that breathe and shine.
¡ªWe may live so happy there, 170 That the Spirits of the Air Envying us, may ev'n entice To our healing paradise The polluting multitude: But their rage would be subdued 175 By that clime divine and calm, And the winds whose wings rain balm On the uplifted soul, and leaves Under which the bright sea heaves; While each breathless interval 180 In their whisperings musical The inspir¨¨d soul supplies With its own deep melodies; And the Love which heals all strife Circling, like the breath of life, 185 All things in that sweet abode With its own mild brotherhood:¡ª They, not it, would change; and soon Every sprite beneath the moon Would repent its envy vain, 190 And the Earth grow young again!
Written by John Milton | Create an image from this poem


 In this Monody the author bewails a learned Friend, unfortunately
drowned in his passage from Chester on the Irish Seas, 1637;
and, by occasion, foretells the ruin of our corrupted Clergy, 
then in their height.
YET once more, O ye laurels, and once more, Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere, I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude, And with forced fingers rude Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear Compels me to disturb your season due; For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime, Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer.
Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not float upon his watery bier Unwept, and welter to the parching wind, Without the meed of some melodious tear.
Begin, then, Sisters of the sacred well That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring; Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain and coy excuse: So may some gentle Muse With lucky words favour my destined urn, And as he passes turn, And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud! For we were nursed upon the self-same hill, Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill; Together both, ere the high lawns appeared Under the opening eyelids of the Morn, We drove a-field, and both together heard What time the grey-fly winds her sultry horn, Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night, Oft till the star that rose at evening bright Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering wheel.
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute; Tempered to the oaten flute, Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel From the glad sound would not be absent long; And old Damoetas loved to hear our song.
But, oh! the heavy change, now thou art gone, Now thou art gone and never must return! Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods and desert caves, With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, And all their echoes, mourn.
The willows, and the hazel copses green, Shall now no more be seen Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing as the canker to the rose, Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze, Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear, When first the white-thorn blows; Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.
Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas? For neither were ye playing on the steep Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie, Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high, Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream.
Ay me! I fondly dream RHad ye been there,S .
for what could that have done? What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore, The Muse herself, for her enchanting son, Whom universal nature did lament, When, by the rout that made the hideous roar, His gory visage down the stream was sent, Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore? Alas! what boots it with uncessant care To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade, And strictly meditate the thankless Muse? Were it not better done, as others use, To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair? Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise (That last infirmity of noble mind) To scorn delights and live laborious days; But, the fair guerdon when we hope to find, And think to burst out into sudden blaze, Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears, And slits the thin-spun life.
RBut not the praise," Phoebus replied, and touched my trembling ears: RFame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, Nor in the glistering foil Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies, But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes And perfect witness of all-judging Jove; As he pronounces lastly on each deed, Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.
" O fountain Arethuse, and thou honoured flood, Smooth-sliding Mincius, crowned with vocal reeds, That strain I heard was of a higher mood.
But now my oat proceeds, And listens to the Herald of the Sea, That came in Neptune's plea.
He asked the waves, and asked the felon winds, What hard mishap hath doomed this gentle swain? And questioned every gust of rugged wings That blows from off each beaked promontory.
They knew not of his story; And sage Hippotades their answer brings, That not a blast was from his dungeon strayed: The air was calm, and on the level brine Sleek Panope with all her sisters played.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark, Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark, That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.
Next, Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow, His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with woe.
Ah! who hath reft," quoth he, Rmy dearest pledge?" Last came, and last did go, The Pilot of the Galilean Lake; Two massy keys he bore of metals twain.
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain).
He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake:-- RHow well could I have spared for thee, young swain, Enow of such as, for their bellies' sake, Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold! Of other care they little reckoning make Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast, And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold A sheep-hook, or have learnt aught else the least That to the faithful herdman's art belongs! What recks it them? What need they? They are sped: And, when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw; The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, But, swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread; Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace, and nothing said.
But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
" Return, Alpheus; the dread voice is past That shrunk thy streams; return Sicilian Muse, And call the vales, and bid them hither cast Their bells and flowerets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks, On whose fresh lap the swart star sparely looks, Throw hither all your quaint enamelled eyes, That on the green turf suck the honeyed showers, And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies, The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine, The white pink, and the pansy freaked with jet, The glowing violet, The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine, With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head, And every flower that sad embroidery wears; Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed, And daffadillies fill their cups with tears, To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies.
For so, to interpose a little ease, Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise, Ay me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurled; Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides, Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world; Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied, Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old, Where the great Vision of the guarded mount Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold.
Look homeward, Angel, now, and melt with ruth: And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth.
Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no more, For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead, Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor.
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed, And yet anon repairs his drooping head, And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore Flames in the forehead of the morning sky: So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high, Through the dear might of Him that walked the waves, Where, other groves and other streams along, With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves, And hears the unexpressive nuptial song, In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the Saints above, In solemn troops, and sweet societies, That Sing, and singing in their glory move, And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more; Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore, In thy large recompense, and shalt be good To all that wander in that perilous flood.
Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills, While the still morn went out with sandals grey: He touched the tender stops of various quills, With eager thought warbling his Doric lay: And now the sun had stretched out all the hills, And now was dropt into the western bay.
At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue: Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.
Written by Charlotte Turner Smith | Create an image from this poem

Written near a Port on a Dark Evening

 Huge vapours brood above the clifted shore, 
Night on the ocean settles dark and mute, 
Save where is heard the repercussive roar 
Of drowsy billows on the rugged foot 
Of rocks remote; or still more distant tone 
Of seamen in the anchored bark that tell 
The watch relieved; or one deep voice alone 
Singing the hour, and bidding "Strike the bell!" 

All is black shadow but the lucid line 
Marked by the light surf on the level sand, 
Or where afar the ship-lights faintly shine 
Like wandering fairy fires, that oft on land 
Misled the pilgrim--such the dubious ray 
That wavering reason lends in life's long darkling way.

Written by Charlotte Turner Smith | Create an image from this poem

Huge Vapours Brood Above the Clifted Shore

 Huge vapours brood above the clifted shore,
Night o'er the ocean settles, dark and mute,
Save where is heard the repercussive roar
Of drowsy billows, on the rugged foot
Of rocks remote; or still more distant tone
Of seamen, in the anchored bark, that tell
The watch relieved; or one deep voice alone,
Singing the hour, and bidding "strike the bell.
" All is black shadow, but the lucid line Marked by the light surf on the level sand, Or where afar, the ship-lights faintly shine Like wandering fairy fires, that oft on land Mislead the pilgrim; such the dubious ray That wavering reason lends, in life's long darkling way.
Written by Marriott Edgar | Create an image from this poem

The Battle of Hastings

 I'll tell of the Battle of Hastings, 
As happened in days long gone by,
When Duke William became King of England, 
And 'Arold got shot in the eye.
It were this way - one day in October The Duke, who were always a toff Having no battles on at the moment, Had given his lads a day off.
They'd all taken boats to go fishing, When some chap in t' Conqueror's ear Said 'Let's go and put breeze up the Saxons;' Said Bill - 'By gum, that's an idea.
' Then turning around to his soldiers, He lifted his big Nonnan voice, Shouting - 'Hands up who's coming to England.
' That was swank 'cos they hadn't no choice.
They started away about tea-time - The sea was so calm and so still, And at quarter to ten the next morning They arrived at a place called Bexhill.
King 'Arold came up as they landed - His face full of venom and 'ate - He said 'lf you've come for Regatta You've got here just six weeks too late.
' At this William rose, cool but 'aughty, And said 'Give us none of your cheek; You'd best have your throne re-upholstered, I'll be wanting to use it next week.
' When 'Arold heard this 'ere defiance, With rage he turned purple and blue, And shouted some rude words in Saxon, To which William answered - 'And you.
' 'Twere a beautiful day for a battle; The Normans set off with a will, And when both sides was duly assembled, They tossed for the top of the hill.
King 'Arold he won the advantage, On the hill-top he took up his stand, With his knaves and his cads all around him, On his 'orse with his 'awk in his 'and.
The Normans had nowt in their favour, Their chance of a victory seemed small, For the slope of the field were against them, And the wind in their faces an' all.
The kick-off were sharp at two-thirty, And soon as the whistle had went Both sides started banging each other 'Til the swineherds could hear them in Kent.
The Saxons had best line of forwards, Well armed both with buckler and sword - But the Normans had best combination, And when half-time came neither had scored.
So the Duke called his cohorts together And said - 'Let's pretend that we're beat, Once we get Saxons down on the level We'll cut off their means of retreat.
' So they ran - and the Saxons ran after, Just exactly as William had planned, Leaving 'Arold alone on the hill-top On his 'orse with his 'awk in his 'and.
When the Conqueror saw what had happened, A bow and an arrow he drew; He went right up to 'Arold and shot him.
He were off-side, but what could they do? The Normans turned round in a fury, And gave back both parry and thrust, Till the fight were all over bar shouting, And you couldn't see Saxons for dust.
And after the battle were over They found 'Arold so stately and grand, Sitting there with an eye-full of arrow On his 'orse with his 'awk in his 'and.
Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

The Delphic Oracle Upon Plotinus

 Behold that great Plotinus swim,
Buffeted by such seas;
Bland Rhadamanthus beckons him,
But the Golden Race looks dim,
Salt blood blocks his eyes.
Scattered on the level grass Or winding through the grove plato there and Minos pass, There stately Pythagoras And all the choir of Love.
Written by George William Russell | Create an image from this poem

Dawn Song

 WHILE the earth is dark and grey
How I laugh within.
I know In my breast what ardours gay From the morning overflow.
Though the cheek be white and wet In my heart no fear may fall: There my chieftain leads and yet Ancient battle trumpets call.
Bend on me no hasty frown If my spirit slight your cares: Sunlike still my joy looks down Changing tears to beamy airs.
Think me not of fickle heart If with joy my bosom swells Though your ways from mine depart, In the true are no farewells.
What I love in you I find Everywhere.
A friend I greet In each flower and tree and wind— Oh, but life is sweet, is sweet! What to you are bolts and bars Are to me the arms that guide To the freedom of the stars, Where my golden kinsmen bide.
From my mountain top I view: Twilight’s purple flower is gone, And I send my song to you On the level light of dawn.